This section of the scoping review specifies the basis upon which sources were considered for inclusion in the scoping review. This section should necessarily be as transparent and unambiguous as possible. The inclusion criteria for a scoping review will be contingent on the question/s posed. The PCC should be stipulated (Population, Concept, and Context).

Types of participants

The types of participants in the sources of evidence sought for inclusion should be related to the objectives of the scoping review. The reasons for the inclusion or exclusion of particular participants detailed in this section should be explained clearly in the introduction section of the scoping review.


The core concept examined by the scoping review should be clearly articulated to guide the scope and breadth of the inquiry. This may include details that pertain to the “interventions” and/or “phenomena of interest” that would be explained in greater detail in a systematic review.

Outcomes may also be a component of a scoping review’s “Concept”. If outcomes of interest are to be explained, they should be linked closely to the objective and the purpose for undertaking the scoping review.


Context will vary depending on the objective/s and question/s of the review. The context should be clearly defined and may include, but is not limited to, consideration of cultural factors, such as geographic location and/or specific racial or gender-based interests. In some cases, context may also encompass details about the specific setting (such as acute care, primary health care or the community).

Types of sources of evidence

The types of sources of evidence to be included in the scoping review should be explained. 'Sources of evidence ' can include any existing literature, e.g. primary research studies, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, letters, guidelines, etc. The source of information may be left “open” to allow for the inclusion of any, and all sources of evidence and rationale for this should be provided. Otherwise, any limits imposed on the types of studies should be detailed and explained. For example, some sources of evidence such as text and opinion papers and letters would not be particularly appropriate or useful in order to meet the objectives and answer the question(s) of particular scoping reviews.

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